Ever since the term "deepfake" was first coined in 2017 --- describing a type of AI that can create fake but convincing images, audio, and videos --- the media began speculating about how deepfakes could change the world. Fake videos came with the possibility of widespread ethical issues and misuse. If you believed everything you read six years ago, you would have thought that we were headed for a deepfake apocalypse --- a world where seeing is no longer believing and video footage can no longer be trusted.
Deepfakes are everywhere these days, from Tom Cruise TikTok impersonations to fake video of former president Donald Trump resisting arrest. Because the AI engine behind deepfakes is relatively complex and technical, there is a fair amount of misinformation about how these videos are created.
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about deepfakes. Deepfakes are videos that blend reality with fiction by training a generative neural network to replace a person’s face with someone else’s. These videos are making news, and not always in a good way. They can create the idea that a person — usually a celebrity or political figure — is doing something they did not do. And sometimes, they are made and distributed with malicious intent.